2009 Audi S5: Nighttime Drive In Los Angeles
October 02, 2009
Nighttime is my favorite time to drive in Los Angeles. It's hard to pin down, but there's a certain vibe that only exists when the sun has gone down. The overcast sky is aglow from the city lights, the air is still and, if you're on the west side of town, there's a bit of moisture to it as well. It's a relaxing calm after your work day is done.
It's also a time when that notorious LA traffic has slimmed. It never goes away -- this is LA, after all -- but this actually plays into the drive. The roads change from congested slog fests to roads with opportunities. Work the throttle. Make a few lane changes. If you've got the right car, you're the shark working your way confidently through minnows.
The Audi S5 is one of those cars. I had it a couple nights ago. After an evening with friends, it was time to go home. But after about 10 minutes of driving, a little voice in my head said, "Dude, you've got an S5." So I indulged the voice, changed directions and headed west to pick up Pacific Coast Highway. From here I went north, winding my way along this famous road and eventually turned right to head up Topanga Canyon Blvd that takes you twisting through the hills of the Santa Monica mountain range.
The S5 was in its element on this drive, the red cabin illumination giving off a classy vibe, the adaptive xenon headlights throwing out plenty of light, the shifter moving smoothly from gate to gate and the eager V8 strumming out its refined soundtrack. Later, on my return leg, I parked the S5 on the side of the PCH and listened to the ocean's waves crashing ashore.
Los Angeles' omnipresent traffic will burn you out, so sometimes you need to make a drive like this -- and have a car like the S5 -- to remind you that being behind the wheel is still fun.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor